Decorate Fearlessly

Decorate Fearlessly, by Susanna Salk - reviewed on

Well, it’s ABOUT TIME that somebody did a book like this. My motto has always been to “make your home as unique as you are-“.  Susanna Salk brilliantly illustrates just how to do that in her latest Rizzoli book, Decorate Fearlessly: Using whimsy, confidence and a dash of surprise to create deeply personal spaces. This beautiful book delivers a photographic trove of fabulously designed rooms by über talented designers.

Fornasetti design, in Decorate Fearlessly, by Susanna Salk - reviewed on

 design by Fornasetti

This inspirational how-to decorate book is as much about creating a great room (no matter the budget) as it is a state of mind.  With this, Salk touches on something that should be deeply considered if not already experienced… the effect that quality design can have on your quality of life… and the notion that your home should reflect and inspire YOU. She shares rule- breaking design ideas that celebrate whimsy and personal style over predictable, safe looks. Amen to THAT.

So many people allow themselves to become paralyzed by the endless possibilities of interior design, or feel obligatorily bound to design according to the age of their home or its architectural elements. The truth is, design should be fun. Your surroundings should inspire you. There is a way to walk the tightrope between conventional and traditional design, and this book is all about it.  Salk encourages her readers to express themselves, to transition spaces to better reflect their own lives and personalities, unleash their inner edgy personal style. Cheers to THAT.

John Cummins design, in Decorate Fearlessly, by Susanna Salk - reviewed on

design by John Cummins

 This book , with over 150 inspiring photographs, addresses key design principles as color and patterns (encouraging self-expression and risk taking) and mixing and accessorizing (fearlessly using decorative elements to express your own personality and background), while illustrating the limitless possibilities personal expression can take. Salk shares design tips and quotes from the designers featured. She encourages her readers:

“Follow your heart to create interiors that don’t worry about the ‘rules’, but are deeply personal to you.”

Sitting down with this book might offer the rush of a strong espresso. Page after page will enthuse you: the rug Jonathan Adler chose on p.65, Tobi Fairley’s clever accessorizing of an accessory on p.69, Kellie Smith’s range of styles/materials on p.78, William Frawley’s Manhattan apartment on p.88, Tilton Fenwick’s side tables on p.98, Eddie Ross and Faith Kochar’s mix of art on p.104, Melissa Rufty’s sassy foyer on p.126, Katie Ridder’s dining chairs on p.159, Kara Mann’s use of color on p.163, Katie Lydon’s dining room on p.167, Lisa Sherry’s banquet and kitchen design on pgs 168 & 179,…

you get the picture… every page is a visual delight.

Design by Kate McIntyre & Brad Huntzinger, in Decorate Fearlessly, by Susanna Salk - reviewed on

Imagine how sweet your dreams would be in this exotic getaway~ design by Kate McIntyre & Brad Huntzinger

Thank you, Susanna Salk, for reminding us how fun design should be.

This book should be required reading for all design students of the past, present and future. Homeowners who want to personalize their space will be enlightened by the inspiration that Decorate Fearlessly shares. Beautify your cocktail table with this gem; I highly recommend it to be read and reread- often.   Get your copy of Decorate Fearlessly, published by Rizzoli, here. Other books by Susanna Salk include Be Your Own Decorator, Room for Children, and C.Z. Guest: American Style Icon.

Image Credit: All photos are the property of Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

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  1. This sounds like a fun design book. Part of what makes decorating fun is finishing and enjoying a space. 🙂

  2. I have to admit that I’ve always felt that the thing that separated the good interior designers from great ones is their ability wade out into the dark, fast moving waters and design with confidence. This is an area of distinction and one that interior designers really need to own. When I design a house, my clients display confidence in voicing their opinions because they are comfortable with their understanding of how houses work architecturally. Those same clients – when the subject of paint colors is brought up – are crippled with fear of making a bad decision. Good interior designers really own the work and do so with tremendous confidence – clients perceive that and tend to readily follow the guidance of their designer as a result.

    This looks like a book I need to buy (and I happen to love Rizzoli books!)

  3. The only time I have ever been able to decorate fearlessly is when I got divorced and did things ‘my way’. Even with clients you have to take their feelings, wishes and ability to be brave, into account so you cannot be totally fearless. Most of us have never been able to go the whole way and really experiment to find our own limits. I’d love a copy of the book to see how far some of my favourite designers have gone with their designs. As a professional interior designer I’d love to be let loose but then who would I be designing for?!

    • Yasmin, you’d probably be designing for more people than you can handle!! Based on what you are saying, this book has your name all over it. I look forward to hearing how you like it.

  4. I need this!! I adore all these photos and love the main message of the book.

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